So did fireworks go off? Did I start bawling? Did we join hands in a jig together? Not quite. I can only describe it as both surreal and sublime. I was of course terribly nervous, but we had seen their profile and they looked so sweet and nice that I knew it would never be unpleasant. The question was whether that chemistry would be there and could she put me at ease with this insane road we are beginning? Could I imagine this woman carrying my baby and feel open and comfortable working with her for those intense 9 months? Could I see myself wanting to stay in touch afterwards?
Out of respect for privacy I'll refer to her as "A." and her husband as "L." In such a short span of time so much was accomplished. We went out to Chicago this past week for work, to celebrate our 4 year wedding anniversary, and witness the afterglow of an historic election. Timing was on our side that A. and L. live in Illinois and so the meeting could happen this week. The plan was to meet A. and L. for dinner at 6pm outside of Chicago. I wanted to give us a little over an hour to drive out to the restaurant since Chicago's rush hour would be awful and for once I didn't want to be late to a very important meal (my husband and I are chronically late for everything). But of course to our dismay the traffic was bumper to bumper and my nerves starting to flare up thinking - "Damn, they are going to think we aren't good planners and can't even get to dinner on time." We called and apologized for being delayed and I kept saying to myself, "Relax and drive. Relax and drive." We sped into the restaurant parking lot and walked in a half an hour late. A. and L. were patiently waiting for us at a table and there was immediate warmth. I just could tell this would be a nice night. We talked, laughed, joked around. It was lovely and easy. I can say with certainty that she is fabulous. She's warm, positive, sweet, a hard worker, and funny. She's got 3 beautiful kids and has done surrogacy successfully for two other couples so this would be her third time. I am truly in awe of her. What an amazing person to give this kind of gift. She described it as a true "high" for her to hand the baby over to the intended parents. She joked, "I guess there are worse things to be addicted to!"
So for someone like me who can be quite negative, I feel drunk with a faith in humanity. It's beautiful to think that someone could help me out in this way. I have never more needed an injection of A.'s positive attitude. It's hard after being burned so many times to try to get excited all over again. I thought maybe I would be overwhelmed by meeting A. and just lose it in front of her. But the main feeling was peace and happiness. There's a new hope and a huge step in the right direction. Whatever happens, I know I am a little tiny bit closer to getting my baby.
So what does this all mean logistically? For starters in order to work with her I have to cycle in Chicago. This means a new clinic and RE for me, but the upside is that Illinois is one of the best states to work in because they are so surrogacy-friendly. Technically we are now entering in the contract phase where our lawyer draws up our surrogacy contract that we hopefully will both agree upon and sign. Once that happens we are officially partnered and ready to go! Except for some medical tests and some other logistics we aren't too bad off in terms of moving forward. If all goes well I could cycle with A. in February 2009! Though that sounds far away it really isn't given how the holiday season will fly by. We can get synched up in January and be ready for a February retrieval and transfer. Holy crap, it's time to get healthy again and start doing some egg calisthenics!